WALKING IN SELFCONTROL

 What exactly is "self-control"?  And how can one develop this
Virtue?
"The virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites"
"Where this virtue subsists,
Temptation can have little influence."
Immediately, then, we can see why this virtue is so necessary in overcoming the "works of the flesh" (such as fornication and outbursts of wrath, Ga 5:19,20)

 In some ways, one might consider this virtue the most important…

a. For without self-control, the “works of the flesh” cannot be overcome

   b. For without self-control, the other elements of the “fruit of the Spirit” will not be evident.

    IT IS FOUND ONLY THREE TIMES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT...
      1. Once in Ac 24:25
         a. Where it is included along with "righteousness" and
            "Judgment"
         b. "the word follows 'righteousness', which represents God's claims; therefore, self-control is to be man's response to such claims" (VINE)
      2. Once in (Ga 5:23; Meekness, temperance; against such there is no law). Where we see it is evidence of one walking in the Spirit, and being led by the Spirit.
3. And in 2Pe 1:6; here we learn that it is to be added to "knowledge"(b). "It follows 'knowledge', suggesting that what is learned requires to be put into practice." 

   A. THE SCRIPTURES DESCRIBE THE DIFFICULTY OF SELF-CONTROL...
      1. The Wisdom of Solomon declared; it is easier to capture a city than to be in control of our spirit - Pr 16:32; cf. 25:28
      2. Just controlling the tongue is a difficult challenge...
         a. Failure to bridle the tongue renders our religion useless. Jm 1:26(If any man among you seems to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is vain).
         b. It is easier to tame wild animals! - Jm 3:7-10(read)

   B. HOWEVER, IN CHRIST THERE IS STRENGTH TO CONTROL SELF...
1. Consider the dilemma described by Paul in Ro 7:14-24 (read)
a. A dilemma experienced by one trying to do the will of God outside of Christ, having only the Law. A dilemma that leads to... The inability to perform as one wishes, despite the will to do - Ro 7:18(read). The state of captivity to the law of sin - Ro 7:23(read).The condition of despair - Ro 7:24(read)
         c. However, in Ro 7:25; I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the Law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. We see a glimpse of hope, a hint of the answer to this dilemma (i.e., Jesus Christ!) The answer is stated very clearly in our text - cf. Ga 5:24 (read).Those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." This does not deny the fact there is still a battle 
going on - cf. Ga 5:17(read)
But those in Christ have undergone a fundamental change in a way difficult to comprehend, they have "crucified the flesh" - Ga 5:24(read). This took place when they were united with Christ in His
Death, in baptism. In baptism, our body of sin is put to death, crucified with Christ - Ro 6:3-6

As one cooperates with God in the doing of His Will, self-control will be a natural by-product (i.e., evidence that one is walking in the Spirit)

2. We cannot overestimate the importance of developing “self-control” in our lives…

   a. Without it, we cannot defeat the temptations that come our way

b. Without it, we cannot overcome the works of the flesh

c. Without it, we cannot grow as we should in Christ

 d. Without it, we cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit

WHAT THEN IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY? First, trust in God's Word, that by His grace, our old man of sin was indeed crucified with Christ in our baptism - Ro 6:6
We did indeed crucify the flesh with its passions and desires - Ga 5:24
That God can indeed strengthen us by His Spirit in the inner man - Ep 3:16

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